Rio Ferdinand hails Chelsea's Reece James as a 'ridiculous talent'

Rio Ferdinand hails Reece James as a ‘ridiculous talent’ after the defender produced a fine performance in Chelsea’s midfield – with Owen Hargreaves comparing him to former Blues star Michael Essien

  • Reece James played in an unusual midfield position against Zenit St Petersburg 
  • Although Chelsea drew 1-1, right-sided defender James gave a strong showing
  • Pundit Rio Ferdinand lauded the 22-year-old Blues star’s talent and versatility

Rio Ferdinand labelled Reece James a ‘ridiculous talent’ after starring for Chelsea against Zenit St Petersburg. 

The Blues drew 1-1 against the Russian side in the Champions League on Wednesday night, with right-sided defender James playing in an unusual central midfield role, with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic injured and Ruben Loftus-Cheek rested. 

And Ferdinand stated only ‘top players’ were capable of changing positions and still putting in strong performances. 

Pundit Rio Ferdinand hailed the performance of Reece James (centre) vs Zenit St Petersburg

Defender James played in an unusual central midfield role as the Blues drew 1-1 on Wednesday

He said: ‘He’s a ridiculous talent. We spoke about right-backs in this country with huge talent dictating games – he went into midfield and looked like he’d been playing there all his life. He was dominating, passing, breaking things up. 

‘He’s an integral part of the team there. You win games in the central midfield area a lot of the time, that battle in there. He’s gone in there in a Champions League game and produced a performance that is getting people talking about him.

‘Only top players can do that, are intelligent enough to adapt to different positions. You don’t worry about those players. The way Reece goes into different areas of the pitch, when he receives it in the middle of the pitch he looks so comfortable.’

And Ferdinand (pictured above) described the 22-year-old England star as a ‘ridiculous talent’

Fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves compared him to a former Blues midfielder in Ghanaian Michael Essien in terms of his power, strength and quick feet.

He added: ‘He reminds me of Essien playing in there. Powerful. He can cover ground, play on his own, get up against people one-vs-one, he’s such a great player.’

When Ferdinand asked about if there were any weaknesses to his game, Hargreaves continued: ‘Nothing. Nothing. I don’t think he’s got one. He’s the most complete right-back (in England). He can play (in midfield) without question.

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